Integrated for TAD ME1: Luxman, Accuphase or Soulnote?


Battle of Japanese brands!

Which one should fit better for the marvellous TAD?

Sources: Turntable and Streamer/DAC.

Been thinking in Soulnote A-2, Luxman 590ax II or Accuphase E-480/4000.

Budget around 7-8K€.

Thanks!

superelmar

It would be fun to hear all three together!

I recently picked up the Soulnote A2 for my weekend home.  I think it sounds smooth and sweet!  I also heard A2, A3 and Soulnote separates that all sounded great at CAF.  A2 seems like the value spot!  Have not heard the Accuphase.  I have heard the Luxman…

I think is the way to go:

Soulnote A-2

Phono E-2

DAC…

A full Soulnote system for my TAD’s!

 

Audition both SoulNote and Accuphase with TAD. My personal preference would be Accuphase for tube like warmth, tonality and non-fatigued sound. 

Next time I am in Denver I am going to audition the SoulNote line. I am introducing by their offering. Heart of hearts I am a tube guy though. 

I’m coming from Mastersound and Tubes, and acoustic plan, so yes, a little warm “fatty” sound is preferable, but founding myself lately enjoying airy and open sound.

TAD are almost revealing but non fatiguing, and an Accu can fit phono card inside, so less boxes&cables… hard decision!

 

Perhaps TAD need power, E-800 sounds good and for a Class A is quite powerful… decision, decisions!

I had the TAD ME-1 as my top choices for my office system. I demoed it with Luxman gear, C900u and m900u. It sounded great. I was a little annoyed when TAD dropped the price by $5k and then raised it again by $5k a few months later (it was not a sale). A great sounding speaker.

At one time I owned the new KRELL k-300i integrated amp (the XD variant). I think that the KRELL sounded a lot like the Luxman. Super smooth and never fatiguing, which would go nicely with the BE driver of the TAD.

It is 90 watts of Class A using thier iBias system. I upgraded to a KRELL Duo 175 XD amp (same design as the k-300i) and I loved that amp. That one had 175 watts of Class A, a shame I sold it. That amp was definitely in the Class of the Luxman m9000u.

It appears that the TADs are a challenging load. I think they will eat up the Luxman 590AXII. I tried to power a pair of KEF Ref1 Metas with the integrated, which was a disaster. I certainly don't want to see you make the same mistake I did!

I have the Soulnote E-2 phonostage. The MC output is mediocre - I'm using the other two inputs as MM with SUT and sounds fantastic.  Moved from the ARC Ref 2SE due to subsonic issues and the E-2 has a filter.  My only complaint is that MC loadings for the US version is only 3, 6, 12, 24, 40 and 100 ohms.

My friend bought the Accuphase New E4000  which here inu.s charging $13500

on ebay $6300 delivered they just switch the transformer taps from 100 to U.S  115

itsounds great and feedback is great on eBay dealer demo or new 

Accuphase is inthe top 5% of any brand in theHigh end audio world.

thank guys!

 

What about Accu E-800 vs Soulnote A-2? former is warm and full body I think and second one airy, detailed and maybe better bass control?

@superelmar  I can only speak of the A-2.  It is open, airy,  detailed and has good bass control. But it does have a sweetness and is not overly dry or etched.  I say this with an all SS amp perspective.  My only adventure with tubes was with PS Audio BHK components and I did not like them.  I could never get the black background and I seem to be able to hear hum across the street!

@fastfreight thanks!

 

Do U think guys the E-800 would run them properly? cause I can put phono and dac cards inside, so less boxes and cables.

If the TAD’s need current, I would lean into the Accuphase and add Krell, Coda to the list.  Krell & Coda make great integrated amps, Krell will pack a little more in if you are looking for a total 1 box solution.  Either will drive most any speakers, Krell has a little sweetness, tubelike feel and you’ll likely never leave class A which is up to 90 watts.  The Coda can be biased 3 different ways, either to have more class A or more overall watts in class a/b.  If a warmer, tube like SS feel int quite as important, Parasound’s integrated would be a steal but not quite in the same class you are looking at currently.  Music Fidelity’s top integrated is also quite a steal, can drive almost anything, not as warm a sound.  Another powerhouse integrated is the Michi, used it’s a great bargain.

I had the CODA CSiB integrated and as mentioned previously, the KRELL K-300i integrated (Dou XD variant). I would take the KRELL over the CODA. That Class A of the KRELL is great and would work really nice with the TAD ME-1. 

I sold both and now use a CODA #16. I was thinking of the KRELL Duo 300XD over the CODA #16 (or in a dream the KRELL KSA i400) but my speakers are a bit warm so went with the less warm CODA.

I also demoed the Rotel Mitchi integrated mentioned above and it is a very quiet powerful amp. Not as good as the KRELL or CODA for my needs, The Mitchi sounded a bit like my Sander Magtech amp. I think the Magtech is better for my use case.

I am also like the previous poster when it comes to tubes. I can hear hum or hiss from my seated position on quiet passages. I found Class A the solution for my needs, quiet, sweet, with power.

 

 

thanks for the advices! Reading bout Coda and Krell, and discovered in the way this one:  Aesthetix Audio Mimas integrated, seems to be the bargain of the decade!

I am selling my Luxman L-590AXII These are all junk for the quality TAD can make.

get a Mola Mola Kula integrated or something like an Aavik or wait for a Gryphon Diablo 333

Besides the ones already mentioned, there are very good newer offerings that can be considered. 

Spec RSA-M99. 
Perreaux 300ix. 

Aavik I-180. 

I have kef speakers and if TAD has a lively midrange as KEF I think starting with a nice used Mark Levinson INT could be a very happy combo. Hegel h590 has impressive control but doesn't add any warmth. Gryphon Diablo would be really cool.

Accuphase - Luxman - Soulnote in that order... not models, just brand pecking order. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary go hear an Audia Flight, FLS 10. It might very well be what you're looking for. Just my opinion.

I agree about hearing the Audia Flight FLS10 integrated, It is a wonderful amplifier!

thanks guys! Gonna test E-800, FLS10, I-150 and A-2, here in EU is hard to test Krell or Coda…

Intrigued by Perreaux snd SPEC.

Any update here Superelmar? Currently powering my ME1s with AVM PA 5.2/AVM SA 6.3 w/ NOS Mullard 12AX7 in the preamp. The combination is wonderful but lesser known so hard to find any comparisons. I’m intrigued by the idea of going back to an integrated..